Southern Chicken Salad

Chicken Salad is one of those things that people apparently have really strong opinions about.  That should come as no surprise, considering the number of different versions there are out there; there’s chunky chicken salad, smooth chicken salad, Napa Almond chicken salad.  Some people like to add grapes, some people like to add Indian or Eastern spices; Trader Joe’s actually stocks three entirely different versions on its shelves.  All that being said, I prefer the version here – what I call “Southern Chicken Salad” – a bit tangy, nice and smooth but still with a bit of texture, not too much mayo.  The secret here is using a food processor to chop the chicken rather than doing it by hand.

Level:  Easy
Cost: Cheap (especially if you’re using leftovers)
Serves: A Lot
Times: 15-20 minutes

Ingredients:

  1. Chicken.  Use leftover chicken, one of those store bought roasted whole chickens, or whatever kind of chicken you like.  Sous Vide chicken breasts are exceptionally nice.
  2. 2 or so stalks celery, finely chopped
  3. 1 carrot, peeled, then peeled some more, with edible shavings finely chopped
  4. Juice of 1 lemon
  5. 2 TBSP minced shallot or sweet onion (optional)
  6. Creole seasoning (Old Bay works well), to taste (optional) – adds a little zing.
  7. Mayonnaise – to taste.

Method:

  1. Add chicken to food processor, work in batches if necessary.  Hit ‘pulse’ a bunch of times to chop the chicken, scraping down the sides between pulses as necessary.  You don’t want to turn it ‘on’ nor do you want to make chicken paste here.  You just want it finely chopped.
  2. Transfer chopped chicken to a large mixing bowl.  Add ingredients 2-6 and stir well to combine.
  3. Begin adding mayo, 1-2 tablespoons at a time, until desired consistency is achieved.

Serve with crackers, over a bed of lettuce, or in a sandwich.  Enjoy!

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